The £40 Art Collection

23 Oct 2010 – 11 Dec 2010

Regular hours

10:00 – 17:00
10:00 – 17:00
10:00 – 17:00
10:00 – 17:00
10:00 – 17:00

Save Event: The £40 Art Collection

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Talbot Rice Gallery

Edinburgh, United Kingdom


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Tom Alexander, who died in 2000, began regularly collecting British Modern art after moving to the Isle of Arran in 1947. Having successfully established a shop there with his brother in the village of Brodick, he joined the Officers Emergency Army Reserve in order to do something ‘public spirited'. To his surprise, the Officers Emergency Army Reserve paid him an annual sum of money - around £40. With the encouragement of his wife Catherine, he decided to use this money to buy one work of art per year. Alexander had acquired an interest in avant-garde British art after purchasing his first piece in 1943 and visited the Tate and National Gallery whenever possible. In a fashion that would be impossible today, Alexander wrote directly to artists whose work he liked and asked them to send him a piece of their own choosing. L.S. Lowry R.A., Prunella Clough, Sir Stanley Spencer, Ivon Hitchens, Barbara Hepworth, Alan Davie R.S.A. and Victor Pasmore are just some of the names of the artists who generously responded to Tom Alexander's direct and eloquent approach, often enjoying the idea of having works on Arran. The exhibition includes examples of correspondence Alexander had with the artists.


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